A Civil Law

A civil law country is one whose legal system reflects, however remotely, the principles of classical Roman law as codified by the emperor Justinian I in the sixth century. While modern countries that are part of the civil law system have substantive laws that differ greatly from the law at the time of the Romans, the structure of the system and its approach to legal problem solving date from the sixth century. We may be more familiar with the Napoleonic Code of 1804, which often is considered the father of civil law codes, but it too was a direct descendant of Roman law.

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